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The excessive use of sulphur and creation of stomme as an early modern cellar technique in Dutch wine trade
  • Mariëlla Beukers,
  • Rob Blijleven
Mariëlla Beukers
University of Utrecht, University of Utrecht

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Rob Blijleven
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On the basis of study of early modern literature and other period sources we describe the production and use of stomme, used by Dutch wine merchants in the 17th, 18th and 19th century. We conclude that stomme was made by using excessive amounts of sulphur dioxide, thereby creating health hassards. The States General of the Dutch Republic acknowlegded that danger, and banned the use of stomme  in 1613. However, the ban was never implemented and stomme remained in use for a long time. We argue that the ban was inspired by the risks posed to the health of the wine drinkers, but that economic reasons for a continuance of use prevailed.